Scott v. Shepherd 96 Eng. Rep. 525 (K.B. 1773)
Shepherd tossed a miniature explosive device, known as a squib, into a crowded market. The squib landed in front of a bystander who in turn tossed it across the market to protect himself. The squib again landed in front of a merchant who similarly tossed it across the market. The squib hit Scott in the face and caused injury upon explosion. Scott brought an action against Shepherd for trespass. Shepherd contended that the injury to Scott was not caused by his actions but rather by the actions of the merchant who tossed the squib.
Whether the injury caused to Scott by the explosion of the squib was the direct act of Shepherd.
The injury to Scott was the direct act of Shepherd.
The court found that the other two persons who threw the squib were not considered free agents and acted out of the need for self-preservation. The acts of the other two persons were interpreted as merely a continuation of the direct act of Shepherd of unlawfully throwing a squib.